Venice: May 1615, 16-31

Pages 440-455

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 13, 1613-1615. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1907.

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May 1615, 16–31

May 16. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 802. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The audience of the ambassadors has been postponed owing to the movements of the troops. The duke apparently cannot leave his army and wishes to gain time until the return of Verua, as all the hopes of His Highness rest upon Lesdiguieres and France. Before leaving for Asti Mons. Isidore came to see me. He also called on the French ambassador, asking him to wait until his return, when he would bring some resolution. He performed the same office with the Nuncio and with England, declaring that His Highness is ready for peace if it be only safe and honourable.
The French ambassador has sent Gueffier to the houses of the other ambassadors to consider the present state of affairs and to discuss what may be done to stop the fighting. I was not at home, but he seems to be working in concert with the Nuncio. England suggested that they should obtain an armistice for eight or ten days for the purpose of negotiating. Subsequently France, England and I met accidentally in the park. We walked about a while talking and afterwards went to the house of the English ambassadress, where we remained more than an hour together. The French ambassador insisted upon the duke disarming and said he had strict instructions not to negotiate a written peace with the duke and not to leave him till he had come to some decision. Among other important things I gathered that Spain and France are at length united in arms, and the duke will have to disarm because he is powerless to resist. When the French ambassador spoke about the Spaniards withdrawing their arms, I asked him what he meant by this. He said that they would disarm freely and immediately without waiting, but he would not speak to the duke in this style because the Spaniards do not wish it. He then said to me: I have certain news to-day that orders will reach you from the republic to advise the duke to accept these proposals. He then turned to England and said: You also should receive similar instructions, because the queen writes to me that they sent to England also. We spoke of disarming, and the ambassador said that it would be necessary for the duke to disarm entirely. If the duke accepted he would remain here to complete the affair, otherwise he would return to France as soon as he had said what he had to say to His Highness. He added that he would not go to the duke unless he was sent for.
Turin, the 16 May, 1615.
May 16. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 803. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
This evening I have been to see all the ambassadors. I went first to the Nuncio, who has, I find, sent to the duke to ask for an audience. England is much upset at the reverses which have befallen the duke's army, because he fears that the duke will be compelled to accept the conditions of peace proposed by the French, to which he says he also inclines so far as they provide for the duke's safety, but the uncertainty of the French ambassador makes him doubt. He had as yet received no instructions from England, though the ambassador had been again to tell him that they would certainly come. France has decided to go and see the duke to-morrow morning to say that he will not wait any longer for the reply to his proposals.
Turin, the 16 May, 1615.
May 16. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 804. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
This week the master of the post has spent more than 1,500 crowns upon couriers sent to England, France and the Princes of Germany.
Turin, the 16 May, 1615.
May 16. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives. 805. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 12th inst. the Turkish ambassador entered the city. On the following day Monsig. Klesl (Glisclio) visited him. The ambassador told him that the Grand Turk had sent a present to the Emperor as a token of peace, and had punished with death those who had broken it. Monsig. Klesl replied that the emperor also desired peace and that it could easily be arranged. I have heard on excellent authority that during the progress of the discussion the ambassador told Klesl that although the Italian ambassador had resorted to many devices to prevent the peace, yet his master would not allow himself to be moved. To this Klesl made no reply, but the others present imputed these ill offices to the ministers of the republic, to avert their own danger. I know, however, that in other respects they are suspicious of the ministers of England and Holland, because of their relations with the Protestant princes of Germany, who in order to be safe from the House of Austria would like to see them engaged in continual war with the Turk.
Vienna, the 16 May, 1615. Copy.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 19. CI. VII. Cod. MXLIX. Bibl. S. Marco, Venice. 806. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Two days ago the agent of Savoy received a courier from his master with news of the arrival of Gueffier and of his dealings in conjunction with Rambouillet, which is substantially what I have previously reported. If the duke would not consent to the conditions thus offered the king threatened to unite his forces with those of Spain to attack his states. He wrote also that they further stated that the king of England and the republic of Venice would declare themselves against him and bring their forces to attack him and compel him to consent to the terms proposed, as the ministers of those powers resident here had been consulted and both asserted that their masters would take such action. The duke also writes that Lesdiguieres also had urged him to agree, saying that if he did not, in addition to France and Spain he would have England and Venice also against him, asserting that their ambassadors had told the king so.
The agent came yesterday to tell me about this. I said that so far from having made such a declaration I had never received any official information of what Sillery brought back or of the instructions to Gueffier, so that it was impossible for me to have used such language. I assured him that the sole wish of the republic was for peace. He then showed me a paragraph in His Highness's letter in which he says that he does not believe that the ambassadors of Venice and England have gone so far, as he had spoken with the representatives of those powers resident with him and they had not said anything of the king, but he thought it was an invention of the French to induce him to accept what he would never agree to, as he was determined never to consent to anything so prejudical to his interests. He said that the duke had not yet given any reply to Rambouillet, as he wished first to consult the ambassadors present with him, who should be at Moncalieri, while His Highness is at Asti. The duke further stated that the present understanding between the French and the Spaniards was to join forces, not only to destroy his state, but to subdue those of the religion in order to conclude their marriages without any opposition.
The duke's agent has made the same representations to the ambassador of England, and was similarly told that he had never done anything except in favour of His Highness.
Paris, the 19 May, 1615.
May 19.Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia Venetian Archives. 807. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
As I wrote in my last, the French ambassador set out on Sunday to go and see the duke. The duke sent a person to stop him because he does not wish to have him at Asti. Only the other evening this ambassador said to England and to me that he would not go any more to the duke unless he was sent for, and before two days had gone he started off although the duke did not want him. This is the way he always behaves himself with England and the ministers here, which gives them still more reason here not to trust him.
Turin, the 19 May, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 19. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 808. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
Before leaving for Vercelli Mons. Isidore visited the nuncio, the English ambassador and myself. He asked me what I thought about the French proposals, pointing out that they omitted several points of the treaty. When he left he begged me to go and see the nuncio and England and talk things over. This is because of the expected instructions of which the French speak.
Turin, the 19 May, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 19. Senato, Seoreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 809. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
At six this evening the Cardinal sent me the enclosed letter. It has placed me in a quandary, because I am without precise orders from your Serenity, I do not know what to make of the French ambassador. He seems friendly to me, but one day he says one thing and another day something different, he tells us one thing and His Highness another. The English ambassador suggested to me yesterday that it is possibly because he wishes the glory to belong to the French alone or to be alone in these negotiations that he acts thus and possibly he acts in concert with the Spaniards. For this reason he admired the prudence of your Serenity, as the duke will be compelled to decide for or against the proposals, without another councillor. I observed that when news reached the city that matters were going badly with the Spaniards, Gueffier immediately sent to all the ambassadors to propose that a way should be found to stop the fighting, but that when news came later that the Spaniards had compelled the duke to retire, he at once decided to go to His Highness and demand the reply without delay.
Turin, the 19 May, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 810. Copy of the duke's letter.
When the ambassador of France insisted upon seeing me, I asked him not to trouble to come, so that I might not appear to refuse. We met however this evening at a place a mile from here. He asked for my reply to the proposals and I said that I had been too much occupied to attend to them, but I had sent for Mons. Isidore to speak to the prince to start the affair and I would also negotiate with your Excellency and the English ambassador, without whose advice I would do nothing. He told me that the ambassadors were of opinion that I should accept the proposals, that being the view of their masters. I replied that I did not think the matter was quite so, and in any case I must assume that they will think of my safety and honour. He asked what greater security could I have than the word of his king. I said the security was certainly great, but that I had to do with an armed and powerful king. He asked in how many days I would give a reply. I calculated that it would take eight or ten. He began to say that he could not give me so much time. I said I could not do with less, and finally he gave me to Sunday, but would not wait longer. I ask your Excellency to consider why matters should be rushed in this way, so that I may not even have time to consult you.
Emanuel, Duke of Savoy.
Asti, the 19 May, 1615.
May 20. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Germania. Venetian Archives. 811. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
I have no letters from Flanders, but in those of the Count of Bucquoi I have seen that the Dutch are fortifying Emmerich and Rees and that every day fresh difficulties arise about the restitution and the agreement. From this they argue that there is an understanding between them and Savoy, and it is upon them chiefly that the duke bases his hopes.
Vienna, the 20 May, 1615. Copy.
May 21 Senato, Secrets. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 812. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The courier, sent to the Ambassador Carleton with instructions to propose an armistice in order to enter upon negotiations for an agreement, also took letters for the Ambassador Edmondes who is ordered to inform their Most Christian Majesties of this mission, assuring them that the king has been moved to take this step by their instances and asking them to prevail with the Catholic king, so that arms may be laid down and universal peace and tranquillity may reign. Letters have also been sent to Spain with the same purpose with a reply to the request not to foment the duke, and an exhortation to peace. The king's secretary informed the ambassador of Savoy on the same day that I wrote my last that the reply of the States is expected in three or four days with that of the Palatine, and advised him to defer his visit to the king. He has done so up to the present, and will set out to-morrow morning.
Three days ago the secretary went to the Court; the same morning he asked the ambassador of the States to repeat with urgency the request to his masters to contribute the share which they have promised towards the assistance of the duke of Savoy. He afterwards went to the ambassador of Spain and passed an office in conformity with the letter written to the king's ambassador at that court. He received the reply that the ambassador would represent the whole matter. The secretary after calling at the house of the ambassador of Savoy, who was away, continued his journey to the king.
The office performed by the duke's ambassador with the king will be that the negotiations for peace ought not to delay the completing of the assistance promised in money by His Majesty. He will urge this point and will afterwards listen to the other points adduced, and will send off one of his gentlemen to His Highness with all particulars. I pointed out to him how useful peace would be to his master and how beneficial to Italy, inciting him to this as much as I was able. He spoke in a similar strain, asserting that the duke recognises this and desires peace. He will readily fall in with it; the expenses which are consuming him are a necessity to which he is driven in his own defence. He spoke to me in very confidential manner, saying that such were the commands of his master. He spoke to me at great length about the fixed determination of His Highness to respect and always maintain a good understanding with your Excellencies, upon which depend his own weal and that of all Italy. I told him that this was all very well, but that peace must be obtained before everything else. He said afterwards that your Excellencies might arrange the differences with Mantua and settle the marriages, and everything should be put in your hands, and your Serenity might like a father unite the princes of Italy among themselves and with the republic.
I find that the king proposes to insist upon the disarming in Italy, so that no forces may remain to be taken to Germany to the prejudice of the Palatine and the other princes, his allies.
The ambassador of the States has told me that the cavalry enlisted by Count John of Nassau are almost all ready and their departure is imminent. He considers it certain that the States will send to Savoy gunpowder, corslets and ships in assistance, with which the duke will be satisfied.
It is some months since I urged the ambassador of Spain to use his good offices with the duke of Lerma and the Catholic king. He asserts that he has done so and will continue.
The grand duke some days ago sent a request here for 1,200 barrels of gunpowder, which was only granted after it had been repeated. They are now buying it to send it off without delay.
From London, the 21 May, 1615.
Postscript.—The Spanish Ambassador is sending a gentlemen to his king in some haste with instructions to impart something orally.
May 21. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 813. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The hope of the restitution of the places of Cleves and of the peaceful termination of these disputes grows steadily less. The king has expressed his dissatisfaction that his ambassador in Holland, in the last proposals instead of saying that His Majesty has promised if the archduke will declare in separate letters that he will not attack the Princes, has asserted that he has done so already. The ambassador of the States said that this was a matter of small moment, because he has written punctually the commands of His Majesty upon which the resolution in reply was taken, which I sent to your Excellencies a week ago. The document mentioned in that reply and signed by the States was sent off (I enclose a copy with translation) to the king's agent at Brussels, who presented it to Spinola, not being able to give it straight to the archduke. He asked that it might be signed by the archduke, and afterwards, as his ambassador here promised the king and His Most Christian Majesty, that he should promise not to attack the Princes who are friends of the States, and failing this that they may be allowed to do what they think best, as I reported, and if Wesel and the other places are restored they also are ready to make restitution of Juliers and the other places occupied by them. He replied that if the archduke's document is signed as it stands restitution will follow, that if the ambassador here has promised letters he has exceeded his instructions, that for such a thing it would be necessary to write to Spain, and by such words he clearly showed that he has no intention of making restitution, although he says otherwise. The king has heard this reply with great displeasure.
Four days ago the ambassador of His Highness received an express courier. He had a long interview with the Spanish Ambassador and sent the king's secretary to ask for an audience of the king. The reply came that he might make the journey whenever he pleased, as this affair weighs upon His Majesty with unusual force and he will always be ready to hear any decisions. Accordingly he set out on the following morning. The secretary did so likewise. The latter in his interview with the Spanish Ambassador, which I reported in my last, said that as the Catholic king had promised that restitution should be made with or without a document, it was proper that his word should be kept; that on this side everything had been done to arrive at an agreement, but the archduke had always given nothing but words, and now matters are in a worse state than ever; this cannot be tolerated, and he went on with many other resentful words. The Spanish Ambassador replied that the word of his king must be observed and his promises will be fulfilled, that if the archduke will not restore, it will be necessary to find some way to make him; it is considered certain that the ambassador of the archduke is involving the king in delays in order to shut out all negotiations. The ambassador of the States told me that his masters have done all that can be demanded of them; they will do no more, and if the archduke and Spain keep Wesel and the other places, they also will keep Juliers and whatever they hold in those parts; that the duke of Neuburg has renounced his pretensions in favour of Spain, with a recompence in Germany.
The ambassador of Brandenburg seems most disturbed; he fears the arms of Spain in Germany and sees how much it is to the disadvantage of his master that during the negotiations fortifications are being constructed on all sides with signs of a renewal of war.
The English deputies sent to arrange a junction of their forces with those of the States in the Indies have returned with a satisfactory settlement upon two points. One is that the English only propose to wage a defensive war with Spain in those parts, while it will be offensive on the part of the Dutch. The other is that as the Dutch have conquered the Molucca Islands with great expenditure of blood and treasure, it does not seem reasonable to them that they should share with the English without some other acknowledgment. On the first point they agreed with the wishes of the States, namely to make offensive and defensive war, and for the second they have also found a remedy by making some contribution, and nothing more remains but to ratify the agreement.
From London, the 21 May, 1615.
Postscript.—There is news that the Palatine has taken possession of the town of Worms on his frontiers.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 814. We the States General of the Low Countries, in conformity with promises made by us to the kings of France and Great Britain, promise those kings to withdraw all our troops from all the towns and places occupied in Juliers, Cleves, Berg, la Marck, Ravensberg and Ravenstein, upon any pretext whatsoever, on the day of of this year, to entirely evacuate that country by the end of the month without doing any damage there, and we will not re-enter that country in the future upon any pretext whatsoever, except in case of a new war there or manifest invasion upon any of our friends in that country, in which case we shall be free to summon such of our friends as we shall see fit.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 815. Translation of the above.
May 31. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra Venetian Archives. 816. Antonio Foscarini; Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 15th inst. the Ambassador Wotton had audience of the States, and urged them to change the words in the document of agreement signed by them which run 'in which case we shall be free to succour such of our friends as we see fit,' and to write instead 'we shall not be bound by the said promise.' The States agreed. On the 16th the ambassador returned to audience and begged them to change the words which he had asked them to accept the day before, and to say 'we shall be free to do what we may judge to be fitting.' The States were very little pleased with this, as they considered that all these phrases amounted to the same thing, and the ambassador sent an express messenger to the king's agent to give this additional information to the Archduke.
The Ambassador of His Highness has returned from his last audience, in which he told His Majesty that the States must remove from their document the beginning which refers to the promises made to the kings of France and Great Britain, and must only speak of the promises given. The intention of the Archduke and of Spain is apparent, namely to separate the document from the promises made in reply to the ambassadors of their Majesties, which involves the observance of the treaty of Santen. The important consequences involved in the observance of that treaty I have mentioned before, and also the decision of the States with regard to it.
The ambassador of Brandenburg has advices by way of Holland that the archduke wishes the States to sign in their deed the same preamble which is in the document of His Highness, which says that they are moved to make restitution of the places because the emperor desires that country to be relieved of soldiers, with the following part about the emperor's dignity, and takes all the force out of the treaty of Zanten. The ambassador showed me yesterday that he felt absolutely sure that the Spaniards would not restore the places upon any conditions. They are only trying to gain time, to pass the remainder of this summer in negotiations in order to move their forces at a more favourable time later on.
The ambassador of the archduke spoke as if restitution was near and certain, but he continues to raise difficulties upon points previously settled. The Spanish ambassador expressed to me the same ideas three days ago which he has always preferred, but I have quite well understood that Spain will not lose the opportunity and does not mean to make restitution. What I am writing comes in part from the lips of the king's secretary, and all the rest from the lips of the ambassadors whom I have met.
The Hanse towns have sent to the king of Denmark and their differences are referred until March, except those with Lubeck, which are referred to September. In the meantime commercial relations will be resumed through the good offices of the Ambassador Amsbruder, who, as I have already written, was sent by the king to His Majesty of Denmark to work for peace, and this is the fruit of his negotiations up to the present.
Confirmation has arrived of the capture of Worms by the Elector Palatine. Owing to negligence it was accomplished without great effort by no more than 4,500 foot and I know not how many cavalry. They have left 200 behind as a garrison, and the remainder were immediately withdrawn.
The Spanish ambassador told me that the Elector of Brandenburg has gone to see the Emperor, asserting that it was absolutely true, but the Elector's ambassador here says that he neither knows nor believes it.
From London, the 31 May, 1615.
May 23. Senato, Secreta Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 817. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador told me that the ambassador Foscarini has informed His Majesty of the league concluded with Zurich and Berne, the intention to ally with the Grisons also and the difficulties there caused by the French and Spaniards and asked His Majesty to use his authority. The king had sent a letter exhorting the Grisons to make the league, and the ambassador asked my advice, whether he should send it straight to the Grisons, or forward it to Venice to be presented when they might think fit. I thought good to get him to write an open letter and to give it to me to send to your Serenity so that you may use it as you think best. He gave me this and I enclose it with a copy. I did not omit to thank the king and his ambassador.
Turin, the 23 May, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 818. James, King of Great Britain, etc., to the Prefects and Deputies of the three orders of the Confederacy of the Grisons.
We have heard with satisfaction of the league concluded between the republic of Venice and the first Swiss cities. It is not a purposeless instinct which leads men to form themselves into cities, then republics and finally leagues. Friendship and necessity are the bonds of society, which becomes more stable in proportion as it is enlarged. We hope that you will follow the prudent example of Zurich and Berne and secure the future glory of your republic by a league with such a noble body.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 819. Letter of Carleton.
I have received the king's command to send the enclosed letter to the chiefs of the Grisons and to use every possible effort to advance the ancient league between them and Venice. I have thought fit to send this letter to your Excellency, asking you to take this charge upon your shoulders and present the king's letter at a suitable time with such remarks as your prudence may suggest. The king has very friendly relations both with Venice and the Grisons, and would gladly see them united.
I can tell your Excellency nothing about Piedmont, except that at present we have a bloody war though not without hope of peace, and negotiations are at such a stage that we may see the issue in a very few days, even hours. This will release me from these anxieties to return to my customary peace and quiet at Venice.
I expect to pass through Bergamo and accept the invitation of our friends there. I will write fully about this to your Excellency.
Dudley Carleton.
On the dorse : To the Most Serene Prince of Venice.
May 23. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia Venetian Archives 820. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador received from His Highness a letter similar to mine. He at once called and showed it to me, saying that his king had sent him here in the interest of His Highness and the liberty of the princes of Italy, especially as he thought this would please your Serenity, and had also given him instructions to work in concert with me and by the advice of your Serenity. He said frankly that in his reply to the duke he would follow my judgment, as he knew his king would wish him to do upon such an occasion. I thanked him warmly for this sign of confidence, and he certainly displays the greatest friendliness towards me and esteem for your Serenity. His reply to the duke is in general terms, similar to those used by me to Mons. Isidore. Only he praises a safe peace, safe from attack to be obtained by disarming together. He blames the French ambassador for the harshness of his proceedings in not allowing a consultation upon affairs of such moment, and finally he says that if the instructions, of which that ambassador speaks, arrive from his king, he will immediately go and fulfil them. He told me that if they are coming they will arrive in three or four days, and he had thought well to advise your Serenity of every particular.
Turin, the 23 May, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 26. cl. VII. cod. MXLIX. Bibl. S. Marco, Venice. 821. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
In spite of present disturbances they do not give up preparing for the voyage to Bayonne, orders being issued that everything is to be in readiness for next month. As it is known that the Catholic King will not start before September this gives rise to the report that their Majesties propose to go first to Lyons, not only for the affairs of Savoy, but to be near Grenoble, where those of the religion have finally received permission to assemble. Their Majesties will travel accompanied by considerable forces.
Meanwhile they continue to discuss with the English ambassador the proposal to marry Madame Christina, the king's second sister, to his prince; it is not known whether the negotiations are intended seriously or merely kept on foot in order to modify the dissatisfaction of many people at the marriages with Spain.
Paris, the 26th May, 1615.
May 26 Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 822. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary Roneal, who was dismissed as being too Spanish, and who has been hitherto confined to his estate, has been sent for by the duke. It is said he was present at the interview with the French Ambassador. This news has caused a considerable stir, and the fall of certain individuals is expected, because the nature of this prince is such that his intentions can only be discovered by the character of his ministers and it always has been so in this court. As a matter of fact it is not known whether this is intended to rouse the jealousy of the French, or whether the duke, in disgust with them, intends to become Spanish.
The English ambassador, in speaking to me, seemed very suspicious. He thinks that the trouble is that these forces, united with the Spaniards, will turn upon Flanders or Germany. (fn. 1) He inclines towards peace and advises it, but accompanied by the disarming of the Spaniards, and if this is done simultaneously he will be the better pleased; but if it is certain that the Spaniards will disarm with a promise to the princes, he will persuade the duke to disarm first. Yesterday and to-day he has remained indoors, hastily writing a most lengthy despatch to England with information of all the events of the campaign and no more. I believe, however, that he has also written to Germany, the Swiss, the Palatine and the Low Countries, because the messenger is going that way.
The duke has condemned the captain and almost an entire company of argoletti to be hanged, because they deserted, but at the instance of some English and French he has granted them their lives.
Turin, the 26 May, 1615.
May 26. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 823. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The count of Verua has arrived. I sent my secretary, who found him greatly distressed. He came to see me after having visited the English ambassador, and told me the particulars of his negotiations. He had represented the state of affairs to Lesdiguières and was told that they advised the duke to disarm because France and all the princes of the world desired it. They would protect him together. England, the Low Countries, Germany, and your Serenity were of the same opinion, so he advised him to yield and accept any terms, He knows that this is not in the interests of France and the Spaniards ought at least say where they will send their troops, and give security that the duke shall not be harmed. He said he would write to the queen, and Verua hopes that she may be induced to agree to disarming together. He told me that the duke had done ill to spend his money in Holland and to give the 50,000 ducats of Mayenne for the troops; if he had sent the money to him he could have obtained as many men as were needed; the Dutch are too far off and cannot be relied upon, while those of Mayenne are the same.
No one here knows anything of the negotiations between His Highness and the French ambassador or what has been decided. The nuncio and England came to me to-day to find out something from me. The cardinal, who always tells me frankly what he knows, has no particulars, but he promised to let me know this evening if he had any news.
Turin, the 26 May, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 27 Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Milano. Venetian Archives. 824. Antonio Antelmi, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
Gueffier says that the Dutch have refused to allow the count of Nassau to take men from their parts and that the king of England is exhorting the duke to make peace and for the rest, moves with the utmost slowness.
The camp under Asti, 27 May, 1615.
May 30. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costant. Venetian Archives. 825. Almoro Nani, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Jesuits here build upon the ruins of others. They have begun their seminary and up to the present have four scholars, a Greek and three sons of dragomans belonging to the ambassadors of France, England and Flanders respectively, and who frequent their houses.
Some months ago Bostargi Pasha forbad the French ambassador to hunt and said he would break his gun over his head if he caught him. He found some gentlemen of the English ambassador hunting and sent his men after them to maltreat them; however, being on horseback, they escaped, but three Jesuits who happened to be passing that way were beaten instead.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the 30 May. 1615.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 30. Senato, Seoreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 826. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate
After the French ambassador left the duke, the latter remained at Chieri without returning to Turin. His absence has been taken very ill by the English ambassador, who said that it would be necessary for him to go to some place where he could be of more service to his king. While we were conversing together a messenger arrived from the cardinal with letters from the duke to both of us. I enclose mine, and you will see that the duke summons us to Settimo. Before leaving I went to bid farewell to the cardinal, and so did the nuncio and England. Subsequently, England sent to ask me to go with him to Settimo, but I excused myself saying I should have to leave late owing to certain business. I did this for the sake of appearances. I arrived at Settimo late in the evening, the English ambassador travelled a little in front of me. When he arrived he was told he would have to go to Mombaron, a mile away, because the French Ambassador had occupied all the accommodation. I was told to go to Camerano, two miles off. On the following day I saw the French Ambassador. In the evening the count of Calor came to say that His Highness expected to see me after England and ask me to pack up my things as the duke proposed that we should both go that evening to Varie, near Asti, where the nuncio and the French Ambassador will also be, so that we may treat all together. England set out a little before me, accompanied by a number of horse, because the road was not safe, being out of hand, and he had some fear of the Spaniards. On the way we passed frequent sentinels and troops of horse and other soldiers. When I reached Asti the count of Verua came to say, what he had already said to England, that the duke begged us to excuse him, as he had gone to bed, having spent the whole of the past night on horseback.
Varie under Asti, the 30 May, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 827. Letter of the Duke of Savoy to the Ambassador of Venice.
I have heard the opinion of your Excellency from Mons. Isidore, and I wish to be governed by your advice. I beg you to come to Settimo, where I have given a rendezvous to the other ambassadors.
carlo Emanuel, Duke of Savoy.
Asti, the 27 May, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 828. Letter of the Duke to the Venetian Ambassador.
As something may be said to your Excellency upon the negotiations between the Marquis of Rambouillet and myself, I beg to inform you that I have not promised to disarm except with the approval of the king of Great Britain and of the republic of Venice, and if I can do so with safety; I shall say this to the French ambassador in the presence of your Excellency.
Carlo Emanuel, Duke of Savoy.
Asti, the 29 May, 1615.
May 31 Senato, Secreta. Dispacoi, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 829. Ranier Zen Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
Gabaleone came to see me yesterday morning to say that His Highness was waiting to see me outside Asti, after he had given audience to England. I found His Highness in a meadow under some trees; very happy and looking well. As soon as I arrived he dismissed the English ambassador. He said that he was ready for peace, but wished to take the advice of England and myself.
From Varie under Asti, the last day of May, 1615.
May 31. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 830. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
A week yesterday the ambassador of Savoy had letters from the Duke for His Majesty and others from the Count of Verua in which he is charged to solicit the complete effectuation of the assistance and the going of the ships of adventurers, and by the payment of the money which remains for the completion of His Majesty's promises he is to buy 2,000 corslets, and as many muskets, 1,000 barrels of powder and to enlist the 4,000 English. With these new orders and with his preceding instructions he went on Thursday to audience, as he could not obtain one before. There he pressed the king for the assistance so frequently promised in money; that His Majesty should write to the Bernese to give a passage to the 600 horse enlisted by Count John of Nassau, to the Queen of France that she should desist from such rigour, and to your Excellencies that you should not allow His Highness to succumb to the violence of Spain. The king replied that with regard to Berne he had already given the order, and they will certainly grant the pass; that with France, since the queen has been hand in glove with Spain his offices have lost their efficacy and are received in a very diffident manner; that he not failed with your Excellencies and next week he will send the secretary of the ambassador Carleton (fn. 2) to Turin, to stay there in the capacity of agent, and will order the ambassador to return to your Excellencies, to whom he will present letters and make efficacious representations; that with regard to the assistance, a good and safe peace shall be laboured for, and if it cannot be obtained, the king will afford even greater help than he has promised and in proportion to the need. The ambassador replied that the assistance in money is necessary to the duke, to resist in war and in peace to be able to dismiss the troops to whom His Highness is seriously in debt, and he besought His Majesty to give instructions for the payment. The king said that all the duke's requests should be complied with, and that upon the point of money he should have a reply from the lips of the secretary. Shortly afterwards the secretary saw the ambassador, who asked him for the payment of the money, told him of the orders sent to him to buy military provisions and enlist troops and reminded him of the grant of ships of adventurers to pass to the duke's service. The secretary replied that His Majesty would give the 1,000 barrels of powder and also a certain number of muskets; that if peace does not come soon they will grant licence to adventurers' ships, and nothing delayed this except the experience that most of them became pirates in the end; that on Wednesday Carleton's secretary will be sent, and every day of late he has been instructed how he is to gratify the duke in all things.
Yesterday again this ambassador saw the king's secretary and informed him that the duke is included in the union of the princes and will be protected in peace and war. He has promised that if the other matters are settled the differences with Mantua shall be judged by the Imperial Chamber not by the emperor. With regard to safety, the king means that Spain shall send out of Europe all the troops which are assembled beyond ordinary necessities, and he pledges his word to the duke upon this.
The ambassador seems to have gained two important points, one that His Majesty pledges himself to the disarmament of the king of Spain, and that the troops shall leave Europe; the other is that the Chamber is to judge the dispute with Mantua, not the emperor, who has already shown himself an interested party, and for this he has the promise of the princes of the Union. He is awaiting the letter for Berne and for whatever else the king's secretary may have to tell him, when he will send a gentlemen with complete instructions by post to His Highness, with letters.
From London, the 31 May, 1615.


  • 1. I cannot go so far in my doubts as some, who still suspect there is secret understanding between the duke and Spain, that jealousy being sufficiently washed away with much blood shed on both sides. Neither in all event do I see any probability of his joining his force with the Spaniards for any other service, his French and Swiss being of the religion for the most part and his own subjects weary of the wars. Carleton to Winwood, 15/25 May, 1615. State Papers, Foreign Savoy.
  • 2. Isaac Wake.